CMS Buys Mattec
Toronto-based CMS Software, a provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, has acquired Mattec Corp., Loveland, Ohio, a supplier of manufacturing execution systems (MES) software for plastics. The two firms were already working together to integrate Mattec’s shop-floor monitoring and CMS’s back-office business-management systems for a seamless “top-to-bottom” software solution. The two firms will maintain separate offices and identities.
Another merger among ERP companies was announced last month. Made2Manage Systems, Indianapolis, purchased Intuitive Manufacturing Systems in Seattle. Intuitive supplies ERP software for small to mid-size manufacturers. Made2Manage supplies ERP, supply-chain management, customer-relationship management, and other software. It purchased plastics ERP supplier DTR Software International (now called DTR Plastics Solutions) in 2004.
Herrmann Ultrasonics Moving to New HQ
Herrmann Ultrasonics, Inc. , maker of welding and bonding equipment, plans to move next month from Schaumburg, Ill., to new headquarters in Bartlett, Ill. The new location will double the size of the facility to 20,000 sq ft. It will have three application laboratories for plastics, nonwovens, and packaging, as well as a large training center.
Corn-Based Biopolymers Make News
Recent news testifies to growing momentum for biopolymers derived from corn by bacterial fermentation:
- As reported on p. 22, DuPont Co., Wilmington, Del., is developing engineering thermoplastics and TPEs derived in part from fermented corn sugar.
- Mazda Motor Corp., Tokyo, and a Japanese consortium of other companies, universities, and research institutes developed a heat-resistant plastic consisting of 88% corn-based polylactic acid (PLA) and 12% petroleum-derived materials. It is said to have 25% higher heat resistance and three times the impact resistance of present biopolymers, making it attractive for auto interior uses. The consortium developed a compatibilizer for the PLA blend and nucleating agents to speed PLA crystallization for faster molding cycles and higher HDT and toughness. Tel: +81-82-282-1111
- Fujitsu Ltd. and Fujitsu Laboratories, Tokyo, have developed an alloy of PLA and polycarbonate that has 50% greater impact strength than PLA alone. Fujitsu will use the new material to make cell phone housings. Fujitsu’s New York office: (212) 599-9800 • www.labs.fujitsu.com
- Metabolix Inc., Cambridge, Mass., has hired Robert C. Findlen from GE Plastics to be v.p. of sales and marketing for new “Natural Plastics” to be made in a joint venture with Archer Daniels Midland Co. ADM is building a 100-million-lb/yr plant to produce PHA polyester from fermented cornstarch, starting in 2008. Findlen was v.p. and commercial director of LNP Americas.
- Plastic Engineering Associates Licensing, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., is working with PLA producer NatureWorks LLC, Minnetonka, Minn., on foam extrusion of PLA with patented Turbo-Screws for tandem foam extrusion.
Croda Acquires ICI’s Uniqema
Croda International Plc of London, England (parent of Croda Inc., Arlington, Texas), has bought Uniqema, the U.K.-based oleochemicals and surfactants business of Imperial Chemical Industries Plc (ICI). Croda supplies antistats, antifogs, slip and antiblock agents, and various lubricant-type additives. Uniqema, with plants in Chicago and New Castle, Del., supplies Atmer antistats, antifogs, and slip/ antiblocks.
U.S. Tech Center For Chen Hsong
Molding Machinery Sales Inc., distributor of injection machines for Taiwan’s Chen Hsong Group, has established a technical center at its Florence, Ky., headquarters. The company has installed an energy-saving 770-ton hydraulic two-platen press, a 90-ton electric machine, and a high-speed press for testing and demonstrations. Tel: (859) 525-8300
CFC International Joins ITW
Illinois Tool Works (ITW), Glenview, Ill., which has numerous business units in plastics decorating materials and equipment, is about to acquire one more. CFC International, Inc., Chicago Heights, Ill., has agreed to be purchased by an ITW affiliate. CFC makes hot-stamp foils, heat-transfer decals, and in-mold decorating films.
Cooperation in Plastics Education & Training
Three recent announcements herald new cooperative efforts among plastics groups for education and workforce development.
- The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI), Washington, D.C., and international custom molder Nypro Inc., Clinton, Mass., will collaborate on workforce development. According to an agreement between SPI president/CEO William Carteaux and Nypro director of corporate training and development Angelo Sabatalo, the Nypro University training facilities will provide SPI member companies new opportunities to improve their workers’ skills. Nypro University’s global distance learning network will offer a certificate program in plastics technology whose content will support SPI’s National Certification in Plastics. Other customized training programs are expected to offer continuing-education and degree credits that can be applied to AAS and BS degree programs offered by Nypro University’s global partners.
- The Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), Brookfield, Conn., is working with online plastics information provider SpecialChem of Paris, France. In order to deliver technical information to a wider audience, SPE will provide online technical presentations to be available at www.specialchem.com together with SpecialChem’s own presentations. A combined total of more than 50 prerecorded online presentations is to be launched later this year.
- The board of directors of the National Plastics Center (NPC) in Worcester, Mass. (www.plasticsmuseum.org), composed of industry and association leaders, agreed that as of this month, SPI will take over management of the NPC. The NPC will contract with SPI to provide professional management services for the NPC’s plastics museum and educational programs while maintaining the independence of NPC and the autonomy of its board. SPI president/CEO William Carteaux sees this as an effective “pooling of the industry’s resources” for complementary programs and goals at SPI and the NPC. For example, SPI will market the NPC’s Plastivan community education program to all SPI members and SPI business units.
Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Tooling Services
Trace Laboratories, Inc., Palatine, Ill., a testing and analysis laboratory, has formed a new service group called QuickPrototyping. It will manage the firm’s rapid-prototyping services, which use 3D Systems stereolithography or Stratasys fused-deposition modeling (FDM) machines.
In addition, Bastech, Inc., Vandalia, Ohio, is now offering rapid-tooling capabilities using 3D Systems’ LaserForm A6 selective laser sintering (SLS) technology. In this CAD-based, fully automated process, tool inserts are made by laser sintering powdered A6 tool steel and then infiltrating the “green” part with molten bronze. The result is a fully dense, 36%-bronze part.
New Web Source of Parts For Ultrasonic Welders
A new online “Web store” for ordering parts for ultrasonic welders is www.tributek.biz, located in Elburn, Ill. Owner Tom Kirkland says the parts are all-new (not used or refurbished) and U.S.-made. They reportedly carry a warranty similar to OEM parts but are priced more like rebuilt or refurbished parts. Tel: (877) 768-3892